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Who Is Mike Pence?

9 Things to Know About Mike Pence Before Tonight's VP Debate

Mike Pence, Donald Trump's running mate, will square off against Democratic VP nominee Tim Kaine tonight during the only vice presidential debate of this election. Here's what you need to know about the Indiana governor.

— Additional reporting by Brinton Parker

  1. Pence is staunchly pro-life. A Politico article from 2011 detailed Pence's opposition to Planned Parenthood and desire to defund it. And in March, Pence signed a law requiring women to have a burial or cremation service for their fetus after getting an abortion or miscarrying. The law also says it's illegal for women to get an abortion if the fetus has a disability, like Down syndrome.
  2. He received a law degree from Indiana University's Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1986 and briefly worked as an attorney from 1986 to 1991.
  3. Prior to his career in politics, Pence was a talk radio host. He hosted The Mike Pence Show, which aired in 18 stations throughout Indiana.
  4. After a few unsuccessful congressional campaigns, Pence was elected to the US House of Representatives in 2000. He then spent several years as the Republican Conference chairman before leaving the role to run in Indiana's gubernatorial election, which he won in 2013.
  5. According to the Indianapolis Star, he is a devout evangelical Christian, although he was raised Catholic. In 2012, he told the Indianapolis Star, "I would say that my Christian faith and my relationship with [his wife] Karen are the two most dominant influences in my life today." According to his official website, his favorite book is the Bible.
  6. He voted against marriage equality in 2015. He told the Indianapolis Star, "Like many Hoosiers, I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman, and I am disappointed that the Supreme Court failed to recognize the historic role of the states in setting marriage policy in this country."
  7. His gubernatorial priorities for 2016 and 2017 have a strong focus on education. He increased K-12 funding by two percent, increased funding for annual Teacher Performance grants, and lifted the scholarship cap for students in grades one through eight.
  8. Pence has been married to his wife, Karen, since 1985. They have three children, Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey.
  9. His favorite movie? The Wizard of Oz.
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